Unveiled at this year’s Baselworld, the latest offering from Graff’s Princess Butterfly watch collection has an additional layer of technical innovation with the use of invisibly set diamonds or gemstones.
The first models in the collection were debuted in 2016 and focuses on an intricately sculpted butterfly silhouette that was only achieved after Graff’s master craftsmen intensely studied each curve and contour of the butterfly’s unique form. The resulting exquisitely bejewelled timepieces have now gone one step further with the use of invisible setting, which remains one of the most complicated methods within the world of fine jewellery craftsmanship.
The Princess Butterfly Secret Watch by Graff closed
The invisible setting technique was first perfected in the early 1930s and then adapted at the end of the decade for more complicated three-dimensional jewels, such as this latest Secret Butterfly watch from Graff. “Invisibly set” gemstones are those that are mounted so closely together that none of the supporting precious metal is visible underneath or between them, resulting in a smooth, velvety finish of uninterrupted colour.
The butterfly's gemset wings open to reveal the watch's dial
To achieve this effect, Graff firstly selects diamonds and gems that are perfectly matched in colour, before their craftsmen cut tiny grooves on the underside of each gem so that they can be slid onto a delicate grid closely together. To successfully cut the stones to such exact requirements and slide them onto these incredibly thin precious metal supports, an inordinate amount of skill (and time) is required.
A design for Graff's "Princess Butterfly Secret" watch
Each Princess Butterfly watch is set in white gold with 66 baguette-cut diamonds. The delicately curving wings are then mounted with one of four invisibly set gemstone variations: diamond, ruby, sapphire, or diamond with sapphire accents.
This combination of the feminine butterfly motif with its exquisitely crafted gemstone finish is the perfect watch for a colourful summer.